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87-M118--87-M195; Vt-36; T-207

Rodgers, Dorothy, 1909-1992. Papers of Dorothy Rodgers, 1922-1987: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 87-M118--87-M195; Vt-36; T-207
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Rodgers, Dorothy, 1909-1992
Title: Papers of Dorothy Rodgers, 1922-1987
Date(s): 1922-1987
Quantity: 5 linear feet (3 cartons, 1+1/2 file boxes, 1 folio box) plus 3 folio+ folders)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, photographs, notes, etc., Dorothy Rodgers, writer and inventor.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 87-M118--87-M195
The papers of Dorothy Rodgers were given to the Schlesinger Library by Dorothy Rodgers in July, August, September, October, and December 1987.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: July 1988
By: Susan J. von Salis

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Dorothy Rodgers' copyright in these papers is held by her daughters, Mary R. Guettel and Linda R. Emory.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Dorothy F. Rodgers Papers, 1922-1987; item description, dates. 87-M118--87-M195, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is additional material at the Schlesinger Library; see Dorothy Rodgers Additional papers, 1921-1992 (88-M160--93-M177).


Dorothy Feiner Rodgers was born in 1909 to Benjamin Franklin and May Adalson Feiner. She graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1926, and attended Wellesley College from 1926 to 1928. In 1930 she married composer Richard Rodgers; they had two daughters, Mary and Linda. Richard Rodgers died in 1979.
In the 1930s, Rodgers ran a home decorating and repair business called Repairs, Inc. During World War II she was active in the Writers' War Board, a branch of the Office of War Information that produced shows for United States servicemen. Her other volunteer activities have included the Public Education Association of New York (1947-1957), the New York State Council on the Arts (1964-1979), and the Jewish Museum (1984-present).
Dorothy Rodgers is the inventor of the Johnny Mop (1945), the Basically Yours dress pattern (1958), and Turn and Learn storybooks (1972); see #66-71. She has written four books: My Favorite Things (1964), The House in My Head (1967), A Word to the Wives (with her daughter, Mary, 1970), and A Personal Book (1977), and from 1971-79 she and Mary wrote a column, "Of Two Minds," for McCall's magazine.
For further biographical information, see Rodgers' autobiographical A Personal Book (Harper and Row, 1977).


The collection is divided into three series


Series I, Biographical/personal, includes letters to Dorothy Rodgers from Richard Rodgers; diplomas, school papers, and clippings documenting Rodgers' childhood, education, family, and social life; and the con- tents (mostly clippings) of seven scrapbooks kept by Rodgers.
Series II, Professional, contains photographs, notes, sketches, and correspondence pertaining to Rodgers' professional endeavors: Repairs, Inc.; Hasharades and other puzzles; patents; work on the Writers' War Board, Public Education Association, and Arts Council; and her four books.
Series III, Correspondence, consists of all correspondence not included in series I and II. Subseries A, Political correspondence, pertains to such issues as anti-Semitism, renovations at Wollman Memorial Skating Rink, health care, etc. Letters are arranged by issue: those relating to anti-Semitism, for example, form a distinct unit; within each such unit, correspondence is arranged chronologically.
Subseries B, General correspondence, includes all remaining letters, including correspondence with friends and acquaintances about travels and social life, as well as about political issues. In cases where there is a substantial amount of correspondence with one person--such as with Robert Crichton, Edna Ferber, or Edward Koch--letters are arranged by correspondent. Others are arranged chronologically.



This index includes authors of letters to Rodgers; people who are recipients only have been omitted. Little-known persons writing for organizations or as secretaries to individuals are not indexed; such letters are indexed under the name of the organization or individual. Information about individuals or subjects is not indexed. The first number after an author's name refers to the folder in which letters appear, the second to the number of letters in the folder.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Antisemitism--United States
Arts--New York (State)
Businesswomen--New York (State)
Governors--New York (State)
Interior decorating
Inventions--United States
Jewish women
Mayors--New York (State)--New York
New York (N.Y.)--Politics and government--1951-
New York (State)--Politics and government--1951-
Patents--United States
Women authors, American
Women inventors--United States.
Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Alsop, Em Bowles Locker, 1916-2015
Ames, Amyas
Amory, Cleveland
Beame, Abraham D. (Abraham David), 1906-2001
Bijur, Herbert
Buckley, James Lane, 1923-
Byrd, Harry F., Jr. (Harry Flood), 1914-2013
Carey, Hugh L.
Carter, Rosalynn
Churchill, Winston, 1874-1965
Cohen, Oscar
Colman, Ronald, 1891-1958
Coward, Noel, 1899-1973
Crichton, Jennifer
Crichton, Judy
Crichton, Robert
Crichton, Sarah
D'Amato, Alfonse
Darrow, Whitney, 1909-1999
Davis, Gordon J.
De Mille, Agnes
De Montebello, Philippe
De Vries, Peter, 1910-1993
Duryea, Perry B.
Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
Eisenhower, Mamie Doud, 1896-1979
Feibleman, Peter S., 1930-2015
Ferber, Edna, 1887-1968
Fulbright, J. William (James William), 1905-1995
Furness, Betty, 1916-1994
Gallico, Paul, 1897-1976
Gielgud, John, 1904-2000
Gittleson, Natalie
Glasser, Ira
Goodman, Roy M.
Green, Bill, 1929-2002
Griffin, Merv, 1925-2007
Harriman, W. Averell (William Averell), 1891-1986
Hart, Lorenz, 1895-1943
Hart, Moss, 1904-1961
Hayes, Helen, 1900-1993
Heckscher, August, 1913-1997
Herman, Robert S.
Hersey, Barbara
Hersey, John, 1914-1993
Hightower, John B. (John Brantley), 1933-2013
Holtzman, Elizabeth
Hume, Benita
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978
Irving, Flora Miller
Javits, Jacob K. (Jacob Koppel), 1904-1986
Jewish Museum (New York, N.Y.)
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-2007
Kennedy, Caroline, 1957-
Kennedy, Edward M. (Edward Moore), 1932-2009
Kerr, Jean
Kingston, John E.
Koch, Ed, 1924-2013
Kollek, Teddy, 1911-2007
Landerson, Louis
Lang, Leonard C.
Larrabee, Eric
Lawrence, Mary, 1918-1991
Lindley, Frances, 1911-1987
Lindsay, John V. (John Vliet)
Lindsay, Mary
McIntosh, Millicent C.
Makla, Robert
Mandeville, H.T.
Martin, Mary, 1913-1990
Mayes, Herbert R. (Herbert Raymond), 1900-1987
Menschel, Ronay
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)
Moynihan, Daniel P. (Daniel Patrick), 1927-2003
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)
Muskie, Edmund S., 1914-1996
Neier, Aryeh, 1937-
New York (N.Y.). Office of the Central Park Administrator
New York State Council on the Arts
Newhouse, Susan
Olivieri, Antonio G., 1941-1980
Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994
Papp, Joseph
Percy, Charles H., 1919-2011
Perlmutter, Nathan
Reid, Ogden R. (Ogden Rogers), 1925-
Ribicoff, Abraham, 1910-1998
Rice, Charlie
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979
Rodgers, Mary, 1931-2014
Rodgers, Richard, 1902-1979
Rosenbaum, Joan
Rubin, William Stanley
Saarinen, Aline B. (Aline Bernstein), 1914-1972
Smith, Oliver Lemuel, 1918-1994
Sobel, Ronald B.
Sondheim, Stephen
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968
Steingut, Stanley
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965
Stevenson, Adlai E., III (Adlai Ewing), 1930-
Stout, Rex, 1886-1975
Sulzberger, Arthur Hays, 1891-1968
Sulzberger, Iphigene Ochs
Taylor, Deems, 1885-1966
Truman, Margaret, 1924-2008
Wagner, Robert F. (Robert Ferdinand), 1910-1991
Walters, Barbara, 1929-
Weicker, Lowell, 1931-
Weidman, Jerome, 1913-1998
Wilson, Malcolm, 1914-2000
Windsor, Wallis Warfield, Duchess of, 1896-1986
Whitney Museum of American Art
Wollman Memorial Skating Rink (New York, N.Y.)
Wortman, Doris Nash
Writers' War Board
Yellen, Sherman